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Words of Wonder Creative Writing Competition


Your chance to join Bill Bailey in Hull Maritime Museum’s Cabinet of Curiosities…

Have you ever visited a museum and wondered what the story is behind that unicorn horn or this elephant’s foot? Now is your chance to find out. Exploring a quirky cornucopia of stuff, this exhibition draws on the comedy writing one of Britain’s best loved comedians, Bill Bailey, and yes, you guessed it, YOU!

The Words of Wonder competition invites children and young people aged 7 – 18 to discover amazing untruths about intriguing artefacts and develop imaginative and humorous writing to be displayed alongside them.  Think up fictitious names and back stories for spoof museum labels to outwit unsuspecting exhibition visitors or develop dead pan one liners and ridiculous rhymes inspired by the exhibits.

Children and young people’s work will be entered into a competition to be judged by museum curators and winners writing will be included in the exhibition text and graphic design. Winners will have the opportunity to work with exhibition designers in developing the final displays and graphics and will also be invited to a special event with Bill Bailey whilst the exhibition is on display.

Developed as a partnership between Hull Maritime Museum and the Burton Constable Foundation, the exhibition will explore the idea of a “cabinet of curiosities”. Also known as “Wonder Rooms, these were small collections of extraordinary objects which, like today’s museums, attempted to categorise and tell stories about the wonders of the natural world. Our exhibition will feature strange and wonderful artefacts from Hull Museums’ collections and also William Constable’s 18th century ‘Cabinet of Curiosity’ collection at Burton Constable Hall. Exhibits often included specimens purporting to be mythical beasts, such as mermaids, dragons and unicorns and experiments involving magic and alchemy. William Constable’s collection is the most significant collection surviving in its original country-house setting.

Schools and colleges wishing to take part can request an entry pack from Heritage learning, available from Monday 20th March.  All entries must be received by Friday 7th April .

A limited number of inspirational visits to Burton Constable Hall to explore William Constable’s original cabinet of curiosities will be available on a first come first served basis.

The exhibition will open to the public on 27th May at Hull Maritime Museum.

Phone: 01482 318733


Get in touch

01482 318 733
Heritage Learning is an independent self-funding organisation operating on a not-for-profit basis.